Are Social Networking Profiles the Resumes of the Future?

According to a Canadian human resources survey conducted by staffing agency OfficeTeam released on Thursday February 17th, 43 percent of HR managers thought it was somewhat or very likely that online profiles might one day replace resumes.

Ever felt like you’d have a better chance getting a job if you submitted your Facebook profile instead of your resume? Well, you might be in luck. According to a Canadian human resources survey conducted by staffing agency OfficeTeam released on Thursday February 17th, 43 percent of HR managers thought it was somewhat or very likely that online profiles might one day replace resumes.

While the OfficeTeam survey is in no way definitive, it offers insight into the increasing importance of your online presence, and savvy social media users can make this work to their advantage, “The resume continues to be an important job-hunting tool, but it’s also useful for professionals to create online profiles that highlight their expertise and qualifications,” said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. “As hiring managers turn increasingly to the Internet for information about prospective hires, job seekers should keep their online profiles current and behave professionally in the digital space.”

What’s possibly most interesting about the survey is that it seems to suggest employers aren’t differentiating between sites likes LinkedIn – which tends to be viewed as a professional tool – and Facebook – which is considered a more personal online space. As such, social media users who are also job seekers need to set up clear strategies to protect their privacy and maintain the image they wish to project online in both professional and personal spaces.

On professional social networking sites this means using “resume” writing strategies when constructing profiles. For example, it’s important to highlight skills and experience through concise language and clean formatting. On personal social networking sites, this means being conscious of public access to photos and status updates.

While some HR managers encourage these strategies, the survey also revealed that there is a large margin that don’t buy the social media hype; 55% of HR managers surveyed did not believe online profiles would replace resumes. None the less, as any job seeker knows; it’s better to be safe than sorry.